Retro Reminiscence: CRASH BANDICOOT

Back in the mid-90s, every console had a flagship mascot. For Nintendo, it was the pudgy, acrobatic, Italian plumber Mario. For Sega, it was the faster than the speed of sound, blue blur Sonic the Hedgehog.

When Sony PlayStation released in 1995, it needed a mascot, too. Sony didn’t back down and with the help of Naughty Dog and Universal Interactive, they came up with a memorable mascot that—although seems to have been forgotten in recent years—managed to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Mario and Sonic. Soon, the spinning, crate-destroying, orange marsupial by the name of Crash Bandicoot would become a recognizable staple for the soon-to-be powerhouse.


3D platforming Crash Bandicoot hit the scene early in PS One’s life cycle in 1996. In its early development beginning in September 1994, the project was code-named “Sonic’s A**,” since the camera was set behind the character. When coming up for the actual name it was originally going to be called “Willy the Wombat,” but was dropped since it did not sound “cool” enough to the developers and they would settle upon Crash Bandicoot

In deciding what console to place Crash on, they chose the Sony Playstation over the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Atari Jaguar, Sega 32X and Sega Saturn since they had poor reception and development kits were unpleasant to code for. Another factor they saw was that the Sony Playstation had no current mascot to compete against unlike on Nintendo’s and Sega’s console. 

In terms of reception and sales, it was fairly positive from both critics and consumers. Critics praised it for the graphical presentation but found the actual gameplay to be average and generic. Consumers, however, loved the game as it has sold over 6 million units.

The Reminiscence

Crash Bandicoot has a special place in all our hearts, especially for those whose first console was the Sony Playstation. To a lot of players, playing Crash Bandicoot was in the same vein as playing Mario on a Nintendo 64. It was their first introduction to 3D platforming.

The game had a memorable set of characters and the staple silent protagonist like many other video game franchises at the time. From Aku Aku the tiki mask and Crash’s laugh, everything in this has become a special place to look back upon for all gamers growing up in the mid-90s. Crash was the Mario or Sonic to a lot of people who first started out on the Playstation.

Another memorable thing about the game was the difficulty. This game was definitely up there among the difficult platformers. Jumping and timing in this game was a must in your arsenal to beat it and doing that in 3D was something to get used to, especially when the camera is behind Crash most of the time. The frustration of finishing a level and destroying all the crates to get all the lives only to find out at the end that you missed one will forever be burned into our souls. One lousy crate that managed to escape your spinning paws, even though you had gone through the same level for the nth time is frustration in the perfect sense of the word. You are even greeted and pointed out for it that you missed that one crate. Not a congratulations for getting X amount of crates or a congratulations for avoiding all the damned TNT crates, instead they shove your failure in your face.

Oh, Crash Bandicoot, how we miss you. Will we ever see one of our favorite mascots ever again? Hopefully so, but all we can do now is reminisce.


Cover image via


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Categories: Video Game History

Author:David Rix

I believe that, one day, I can become Spider-Man. Read more of my dumb ramblings here: or follow me on Twitter @Epiawestastic.

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3 Comments on “Retro Reminiscence: CRASH BANDICOOT”

  1. 10/13/2014 at 7:46 AM #

    Sadly I think that Crash may never appear in his own game again. Also, for a shameless karting cash in, Crash Team Racing was amazing.

  2. 10/13/2014 at 10:08 AM #

    It would be nice to see what the Crash Bandicoot series could do on current platforms. We can still hope, I guess.

  3. 06/06/2015 at 2:08 AM #

    I regard Barry as one of the greatest players of all time who got an inauthentic boost and then became a superhuman player.
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